The Truth About Bobby Eaton And Ric Flair's Relationship

Professional wrestling fans, friends, and family are mourning half of one of the greatest wrestling tag-teams in professional wrestling. "Beautiful" Bobby Eaton's sister, Debbie, announced on Facebook in the early hours of August 5 that Eaton died the night before but said she did not have details. Eaton was just 62-years-old. To add to the tragedy of the sudden loss, Eaton's wife, Donna, died in June at the age of 57, according to Sports Illustrated

Per to eWrestling News, Eaton fell in late July hurting his hip and breaking some fingers. He was hospitalized in Nashville, but was expected to be released from the hospital and then start physical therapy for his hip. 

Eaton was part of the wrestling team dubbed Midnight Express which started in the early 1980s. According to People, he was 17 when he started his wrestling career. As half of the tag team Midnight Express, Eaton worked first with Dennis Condrey and then with "Sweet" Stan Lane, winning championships throughout his career.

Bobby Eaton worked with Ric Flair's son, Reid, who died young

Among the veteran wrestling stars "Beautiful" Bobby Eaton had matches with was "Nature Boy" Ric Flair, most notably in the early 1990s. Flair Tweeted out a tribute to Eaton, saying, "So Sad And Sorry To Hear About My Close Friend And One Of The All Time Greats, Bobby Eaton! Beautiful Bobby And The Midnight Express Were One Of The Greatest Tag Teams In The History Of The Business! Rest in Peace!"

One reason Flair and Eaton may have had a special connection was that according to the Bleacher Report, Flair's son, Reid Flair, had at one time been following in his father's footsteps training to be a professional wrestler under the tutelage of Eaton. But even though the Bleacher Report said Reid had "an excellent amateur pedigree," and could've likely seen great success in the industry, personal issues including assault charges, a DUI, and then a heroin bust sidetracked his career before Reid died in 2013 at the age of 25 of a drug overdose, per WCNC.  

With Eaton, a father himself, working with Flair's son prior to his tragic death, it's no wonder Flair referred to Eaton as his "close friend." Both Flair and Eaton dedicated their lives to professional wrestling, becoming legends in the sport. Both also experienced great losses within their immediate families. Flair's public message to the world about Eaton shows his respect and admiration for the deceased wrestler.